Shopping FAQ

How Does Zeck Save Me Time?

One of the great things about Zeck Auto is that we can offer you all of the information you need to make a decision before you even walk through our doors. Because we are a dealership that has a “no-haggle” policy, you can look at the cost of our cars and know that the lowest possible prices are available to you from the very beginning. The tools we offer online allow you to estimate your payments, apply a hold on a vehicle, apply for financing, get the trade-in value on your current vehicle, and get access to the Carfax history of the vehicle for which you are interested. All of these tools make it easier for you to make a decision before you even come in to talk to us.

How Can I Be Assured That I Won’t Feel Pressure From the Salespeople to Buy More?

At Zeck Auto, we want you to come into any of our dealership locations and enjoy the experience of buying your car. This is why our salespeople do not work on commission. We also have our cars already marked at the lowest possible price so you don’t have to worry about haggling with the salesperson. We make sure this is an exciting time for you not stressful.

How Does the Trade-in Process Work?

The trade-in process is simple for you. On our respective dealership websites, you can fill out the trade-in form to get an estimated value on your trade-in. After you complete this form, one of our salespeople will get a hold of you to make sure the information we have is correct and go over any specifics on your trade-in to make sure we are giving you the best deal possible. You will then be asked to bring in your vehicle so we can verify its condition. This can often be done when you come in to test drive the vehicle you want to purchase and you are ready to finalize your sale.

How is My Trade-in Value Determined?

Since Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has been the guide for determining the trade-in values of cars since 1926, we use their KBB trade value estimator. This estimator allows you to put in the details for your vehicle to get give you a fair-trade value for that vehicle. The price is usually figured out by looking at what people are generally paying a dealer for the same type of vehicle that you entered. It is determined by actual transactions as well as the ever-changing market conditions. We use the KBB tool as a starting point and that is why we will have a sales person call you to go over any specifics. This will help us and you by making sure we give you as much as we can for your trade-in.

Am I Required to Trade-in My Vehicle?

You are most definitely not required to trade in your vehicle this is just another tool we offer if that is what you choose to do so that it is an easier process for you. We want you to research any other possibilities if you think you can get a better price. Our main goal is for you to have an enjoyable experience buying a new vehicle.

Financing FAQ

Do I Really Need to Make Monthly Payments When I Purchase a New or pre-owned vehicle?

Most people are not in the fortunate position to be able to pay cash for their new automotive purchase, which means that some sort of payment plan is inevitable. There are two options for a payment plan. You can either take out a loan or you can lease your car.

What is the Difference between a Loan and a Lease?

Either you can pay for your vehicle up front with a loan for the entire purchase amount of the vehicle or you can make lease payments, which means that you only pay for the vehicle’s depreciation over the amount of time that you are driving it during the lease period. At the end of your lease, you will have to return the vehicle in good condition or pay substantial penalties. At the conclusion of a loan, the vehicle is yours to drive payment free.

When is the Title to My Car Free and Clear?

At the conclusion of your loan, the ownership of the vehicle becomes completely yours to enjoy payment-free. Your lending agent will have the title sent to you after your final payment.

If you have taken out a lease on the vehicle, you have enjoyed a substantially lower payment than if you had purchased the vehicle outright, because your payments cover the use of your vehicle during the period of the lease. At the end of the lease, the dealer then reclaims the vehicle, and you are left without a mode of transportation unless you then purchase the car for the remaining value, or you enter into a new lease agreement, initiating an entirely new set of payments.

How Does the Dealer Determine the Monthly Lease Payments?

There are formulas that the dealer uses to derive a fair value for the car at the end of the lease term that consider the depreciation that will occur over the term of the lease. Your monthly payments are the difference between the purchase price of the new car and the amount of depreciation plus tax titles and fees. There is often a substantial down payment required at the beginning of the lease term. It is now a requirement of the Federal Reserve Board that dealers outline all details of the leases they offer, which includes the length, down payment, potential interest rate, and the final residual value.

What about Loan Rates? How Are They Determined?

There are many factors which determine how large your monthly payment will be when you take out a loan. Generally speaking, your payment will be substantially larger when you take out a loan rather than lease since you are paying for the entire price of the car up front. The loan will take into consideration the amount borrowed, the term of the loan, current interest rates based on your creditworthiness, and other factors. The more that you are able to put down initially on the loan, the lower your payments. You can at any point of the loan take the option of paying off the vehicle in full and having the title immediately transferred to your name.

Can You Tell Me More About Loans?

Some dealers don’t even require a down payment when you go for an auto loan. It is, however, a good idea to put down between 10 and 20% on the car to lower your payments. Because the price of new cars has become so high, many lenders are now offering auto loans that extend as far as 84 months as opposed to traditional 48-month auto loans. It is in your best interest to shop around and get the lowest rates possible for your credit rating. Many dealers will offer incentives to move slower moving vehicles off their lots with In-house financing that can sometimes be at 0%!

Can I Finance a Used Vehicle?

You can obtain a loan for a pre-owned vehicle, but it is often required that you put a down payment of 20% or more and the interest rates tend to be higher than on a new vehicle. Banks generally prefer lending money for new vehicles since they can more likely recover their money if the borrower does not pay back the loan and defaults.

What Else Can Be Financed?

There are many fees that are wrapped up in the purchase of a new vehicle, including registration, taxes, and dealer add-ons such as extended service plans. These can all be wrapped up into the price of a new loan.

Is It Better to Lease or Buy?

This is a difficult question to answer. The most relevant factor is how much you plan to drive the car. If having a more expensive vehicle with a lower payment is important to you then by all means lease. A leased car means you will always be driving a late model vehicle without the headaches of non-warranty repairs. Keep in mind that there are mileage restrictions that come with the vehicle that, if exceeded, will result in additional costs to you at the end of the lease period. If your driving habits include excessive mileage you might consider looking into a loan.

How Long Are You Planning to Keep the Car?

If you plan on keeping the same car until the wheels fall off and are not the type who changes cars every three years, then your best option is to purchase the vehicle outright and finance.

Purchasing the vehicle is best for those who are going to modify their rides as well because if it is leased it must be returned to the dealer in stock condition.

Insurance FAQ

What Are the Laws Governing Automobile Insurance?

Laws for automobile insurance are going to vary by state with most states wanting you to have at least liability so that you have some kind of financial backing if you were to get into an accident. Most of the time a state wants you to have some sort of insurance to be able to operate a vehicle at all. There are four states that have exceptions to this rule but most people in these states still carry insurance.

Wisconsin and Tennessee do not have a requirement for carrying insurance but they do require you to show that you will take financial responsibility for an accident that you might be in.

New Hampshire does not require you to have insurance until you have been in an accident and even then, you only have to carry it temporarily.

Virginia only makes a driver pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee to be able to legally drive. The fee must be paid every time the registration has to be renewed. If you drive in Virginia and opt to have insurance then you must meet the minimum requirements for coverage in the state.

How Am I Protected From Uninsured Drivers?

You can protect yourself if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which will cover medical bills if necessary for you and your passengers. Many states require this coverage.

What about the Vehicle?

To protect your vehicle from someone who is underinsured you will need to have uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage. This will help you to pay for any damages to your vehicle if someone without insurance hits you. Some states will offer this instead of collision insurance.

Can You Transfer Coverage From State to State?

Your insurance can be transferred from state-to-state for the short term. If you have to move to a state temporarily, you will want to look into the laws of that state. States allow residency with out-of-state insurance but it varies on the amount of time that is acceptable in each state.

What about a Permanent Move?

If you are planning to move to another state for a long-term, you are definitely going to have to switch your insurance it will just be a matter of what time frame you will have to do that in, as each state is different. If you decide not to switch because you still have time left on your previous policy and you are outside the timeframe of when you are required to switch you could run into issues in the case of an accident. You probably shouldn’t risk it; you should just switch your insurance.

What Is Liability Insurance?

Liability insurance will cover you if there is bodily damage, all the way up to death, and property damage to other people if you are considered responsible. It can also cover legal fees if you are found to be responsible. Another thing to keep in mind is that if someone else is driving your vehicle then you are still considered responsible.

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is a policy that can be required from most states for a driver who is considered high-risk. This could be someone who was in an accident or has some kind conviction or travel related offense on their record.

How Do You Calculate Liability?

Usually, when you look at liability it is represented by three different numbers, for example, 50/100/25. The first number tells you how much your policy will pay for individual bodily harm if there happens to be an accident ($50,000). The second number is the max that will be paid for all injuries in the accident ($100,000). The final number is the maximum property damage amount that will be paid in a single accident ($25,000).

What Are the Minimum Requirements?

Requirements for minimum coverage vary on a state-by-state basis. The low end of the spectrum is 15/30/5 which are numbers found in California and New Jersey. The high end of the spectrum is 50/100/25 and can be found in Alaska and Maine.

What Is Comprehensive Insurance?

To have comprehensive insurance means that you will be covered even if your vehicle isn’t in an accident with another vehicle. This could be a natural disaster or even if your car is broken into and stolen. This could also include damage from hitting an animal like a deer. You can also get full-glass coverage with some companies and they will replace any broken glass for you.

What Is Collision Insurance?

Collision insurance is coverage for a vehicle that has been in an accident whether or not another vehicle was involved and whether or not the vehicle is owned or rented.

What if the Accident is My Fault?

Many states have “no-fault” policies so that you will be covered no matter what and it makes the liability process easier all round.

How Are Insurance Rates Calculated?

Most insurance suppliers will look at personal information, family information, vehicle information, previous insurance information, previous insurance claims, and desired coverage when trying to determine your rates.

Why Is a Parking Location Required?

A lot of times an insurance will want to know where you park your vehicle if it is in a garage or on the street because they will want to determine what the crime rate is like in that area. Obviously, the higher the likelihood of a crime the higher your comprehensive rates will be.

What is a Premium?

The premium is another name for your rate.

What Is a Deductible?

A deductible is the fixed rate you will have to pay each time you are in an accident. For example, if you have a $500 deductible then get in an accident you will have to pay that $500 before the insurance company will pay for anything else. A high deductible will give you lower rates and vice versa.

What if the Claim is Less Than the Deductible?

If the claim is below the deductible then you will have to pay the entire amount on your own.

What if the Vehicle Repair Costs Less Than the Coverage?

A lot of the time you can get a vehicle repaired without using the entire amount for repairs. A lot of insurance companies require you to show an itemized statement so that they can see where the money has gone. It is legal to keep the money from the insurance company and not fix the vehicle but if the car was to get into an accident, again the insurance company will consider those before paying you to get it repaired again.

What is a Total Loss?

A total loss means that the insurance company has decided that it is not worth fixing the vehicle and they will often pay you an amount based on the make and model of vehicle.

Must I Go to Specific Shops for Repair?

No, most of the time you are allowed to pick the shop you go to. The only difference is that you might have to pay a little more if the shop is not approved by your insurance company.

Are OEM Parts or Aftermarket Parts Used When Doing Repairs?

Yes, but it will depend on what is available. If you choose to use factory-authorized parts, it might cost you a bit more.

How Long Does a Policy Last?

Most of your policies will run six months or one year and will be audited so that they can take into consideration your driving record and any other changes that might have happened in that time.

Service FAQ

Understanding the Conditions of Your Warranty

Many vehicles come with warranties against different unexpected repairs. You will want to make sure you understand how the coverage works. A coverage that is written “48/50,000” means that the coverage will be effective for 48 months from when you originally bought the vehicle or until you drive it 50,000 miles, whichever one of these comes first.

Why Are There Multiple Warranty Periods Listed?

Most of the time it will depend on what is being repaired to determine what the length of the factory warranty is. A “bumper-to-bumper” warranty will cover all the things you need to have repaired outside of regular maintenance. This warranty is usually the shortest while a warranty that covers the engine and transmission from defects will be a longer period. An anti-corrosion policy will last the longest and some companies will offer you roadside assistance for a short period of time.

Will a Used Vehicle Still Be Covered Under a Factory Warranty?

A factory warranty should be transferable so as long as it hasn’t reached the limits stated in the original policy.

How Do You Maintain a Warranty?

To keep a warranty valid, you will want to make sure you get the vehicle serviced on a regular basis. You will also want to get the vehicle in for repairs if there is something wrong with it. If you check the manual for your vehicle it will tell you exactly when to get maintenance performed on your new vehicle. You must also make sure that a factory-authorized technician is the one performing the work on your vehicle or you may void the warranty.

Will a Warranty Pay for All of Your Expenses?

Many warranties available to you will cover the parts and labor of repairs but they will not cover maintenance costs and certain repairs may be covered by some manufacturers but not others.

To get the best out of your vehicle, you need to keep up with regular servicing.

Change your engine’s oil and filter on a regular basis, as this is vital to your engine’s performance. Most of the time, you will want to change the oil every 5,000 to 15,000 miles.

Keep track of the engine coolant, as this helps to keep the car from overheating when dealing with extreme temperatures. The type of vehicle you have will determine when you need to flush your system. Generally, you should flush the engine every few years or 30,000 to 40,000 miles.

When thinking about changing the spark plugs on your vehicle, you can actually go a lot longer between changes in newer vehicles than you could on older vehicles. A good rule of thumb is to change the plugs every 50,000 to 60,000 miles.

Changing the air filter will depend on the quality of filter you have in your car. If you drive on a lot of dirt roads then you will have to replace the air filter a bit more often.

When you change your battery will depend on what type of battery you have. The area you live will have an effect on what type of battery you have because if you live in a colder climate, for example, you will need a battery that is more powerful so that the battery can start easier. You will also have to keep in mind that after a battery has been recharged many times there will come a point where it will not recharge anymore.

When you get regular maintenance done on your vehicle you will want your mechanic to take a look at the hoses and belts to make sure that they are all still in good shape and do not need replacing.

The wiper blades are another part of your vehicle that will be affected by the weather. If you live in an area with snow and ice you will have to replace your blades more often. Most people only worry about changing the wiper blades but there are also times where you might have to replace the whole wiper unit.

Tires are generally good on your vehicle for about 30,000 to 70,000 miles but if you drive your vehicle harder then there is a possibility that you will have to change your tires more often. Generally, when replacing your tires, you will also want to check the brake pads and rotors and change those if needed as well. There are also different tires available for different seasons, but most people will go with an all-season tire because they are suitable for most conditions. The best way to find the tire you need is to look at others’ reviews of the tires they have used. This will help you find the best tire for where you live.

When buying tires, you want to make sure that you maintain the appropriate amount of inflation on each of your tires so they do not wear unevenly and they will last longer. It is also a good idea to get all four tires replaced at the same time. When picking out your tires make sure that the type of tire is same throughout all four tires. If you get all-season tires up front, you should also have all-season tires in the back. This will help the tires to work together and more efficiently for you.

Other items that might need to be checked annually include light bulbs, exhaust components, and emission controls. If there is an issue when checking these then you will want to have them replaced.

Another precaution you should keep in mind for the different seasons is to remember that the oil you use needs to be the correct viscosity because the temperature will affect how much the oil thickens and this can affect the engine. Make sure your antifreeze-to-water ratio is correct so that your engine runs properly. Make sure your windshield wipers work correctly and your washer fluid is full before you need them. Make sure all hoses and belts are still good as extreme temperatures can cause these to crack or have defects. You want to make sure they have some flexibility left in them.

Parts FAQ

When you need to get a vehicle part replaced there are three different ways you can go about doing so. The first option is for you to look into a factory OEM part by either going through the dealer you’ve been working for or even going through the manufacturer. When you decide to go with this option, you need to keep in mind that these parts are going to be the most expensive but they are also going to give you the best overall fit and quality. It will also help you in the long run if you decide to sell your vehicle because the factory parts will give your vehicle a higher resale value.

Another idea for replacing vehicle parts is to look into aftermarket parts with either online dealers or different shops that are around the country. Aftermarket parts are built to be exact copies of an OEM part but they aren’t built by the original manufacturer. A lot of times the problem you might run into with these parts is that they are poorer quality and can have issues with fit but there are still quite a few aftermarket parts out there that will give you great quality.

The last option for fixing your vehicle is to find a used part, whether it is factory or aftermarket. You can look for these at a salvage yard or you might even be able to find them from a private seller. This is one of the best options so that you can save money but still find an OEM specified piece that you might need. Just keep in mind that a used part might have a lot of wear and tear and you never know for sure what you are going to get.

Make sure you do your research on a part before you use it. There are so many places you can look now to get an idea if there is going to be an issue with a certain part or if it will be worth spending the money on. When it comes to locating a part just remember that suppliers can offer OEM parts as well as aftermarket parts. In addition, if you have a hard-to-find part it might be because the part is not produced for the aftermarket because it might not be worth the cost. Because of this, you might have to talk to a parts specialist to find the part you need. Some dealers have parts that are unused and the can be ‘New Old Stock’. These can be expensive depending on demand.

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